back to article IBM drops Lotus brand from next version of Notes

Lotus Notes is no more and will henceforth be known as ... drumroll please … IBM Notes. Big Blue quietly let it be known the Lotus brand will disappear in the forthcoming version 9.0 of Notes and Domino, products that back in 1995 were so desirable it wrote a check for $US.3.52bn to acquire them. That acquisition was …


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  1. Lunatik

    Die, Notes, die.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In theory, that's what killnotes.exe is for, but Notes keeps springing back up, festering, ungainly, and inimical to humanity, to devour the brains of the living.

  2. Alan Brown Silver badge

    "Notes' whopping client strained the first-generation Pentium-powered PCs of the day"

    Leading to it frequently being branded "Bloated Goats"

    1. Simon_Sharwood_Reg_APAC_Editor (Written by Reg staff)

      We called it Scrotus Pokes, to invoke the pain of using it.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember writing a call logging app in Notes 4.5

    It was actually pretty easy.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've been administrating LN for 12 years now. I can categorically say, with authority and gusto, LN sucks donkey dicks. I realize some readers may interpret my evaluation as an endorsement.

  5. Allison Park

    Notes is great just not at email

    unfortunately most people just used it for email which was a mess.

    Just guessing here but I think the Lotus brand and experts they acquired helped them build websphere which has been the real success.


    1. James Anderson

      Re: Notes is great just not at email

      Webster has nothing to do with notes and never has.

      Websphere started of as a COBRA broker called CBseries which had a java skin tacked on.

      Thankfully the COBRA components have more or less disappeared under the mass of JEE.

      1. arrbee

        Re: Notes is great just not at email

        Err, that would be CORBA

  6. Radelix

    As a person who supports the abortion that is Lotus Notes. I want to know why it has to fight with Adobe Acrobat with calling the user32.dll and then crashing....and deleting mail files.....causing calls to come my general direction.

  7. ceebee

    but then....

    a lot of big businesses are deeply welded to Notes.

    The main user complaint I get is about the UI. (Which is actually ok..just different once u get your head around it). Everyone is used to MS stuff.

    I hope 9.0 has improved that but at least it is not that stupid MS ribbon based!!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: but then....

      Its not a case of getting your head round the UI. Its the bloat in the UI.

      Most people use it for emails. My crusty old work PC can't handle running Notes 8.5 and a second program. It can handle running any version of outlook and talking to an Exchange server without any noticeable strain on the machine.

      The web based version of notes is very nice. Hardly any strain on my PC. Only problem is it times out when not used. Every hour or so I have to tell it to reconnect to the server.

      Find me something that isn't resource hungry that I can leave running on my computer without having to prod it every few hours to stay connected to the mail server and I'll be happy.

    2. ItsNotMe

      Re: but then....

      You do know that the Notes Client has two UIs to use...don't you? There is Basic, which is very close to Outlook, and Standard, which is more graphical, and yes, more bloated. But that is why IBM/Lotus recommend a minimum of 2GB of RAM to install and run the Standard edition.

      And for Mobs, Traveler is very easy to use.

  8. JaitcH
    Thumb Up

    What about Organiser?

    Organiser, a really gussied up address / activity / etc program.

    It has one really neat feature, apart from the fact it works without fail is the address formatting option.

    In one address book (you can have as many duplicate sections as you want to create) you a have UK, Canadan, US and Chinese addresses. Whilst the data page is displayed in the same formats, the addresses are output in the format of the country.

    In the case of China the address appears, to Western eyes, completely reversed with the country name coming immediately after the addressee's name.

    IBM support for Organiser has always been great, too.

  9. Stoke the atom furnaces

    I despise Lotus Notes

    WTF is the meaning of these LN error messages :

    The remote server is not a known TCP/IP host ?

    The repeating instance document corresponding to this notice cannot be repeated ?

    No HeadlessDBID specified ?

    Attempt to execute nested form events ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I despise Lotus Notes

      And my all time favorite:

      Search returned no results or too many results

      ...because those two things are almost impossible to tell apart, right?

  10. dssf

    Lotus Approach, 1-2-3, and Word Pro

    I wish that these would be released, donated to Open Source, or at least a fork allowed.

    Then, the current Symphony can be suspended and resurrected with year 2012/2013 endowments to them. Lotus Approach deserves a much better fate than being stuck in year 1995 code. It always astounds IBM how Approach users keep extending Approach in ways that Lotus did not envision. Lotus Script is able to enhance Approach so much more. But, so many things that LS can add to Approach could and should be baked intoo Approach, and all of the outstanding limitiations or previoously-raised gripes should be addressed, corrected, and modernized to compete with other vastly heavier programs that Approach can give a run for their money.

    If IBM does this, then veteran and new devs can come back to those 3 apps and charge for support (but, not as ruthlessly as Lotus did in the 1990s), but offer the app for from free to $100, being donation or freeware to payware. If Approach were brought up to date, and given sliders on the repeating panels, endowed with more charts on the reports, and endowed with charts embeddable to forms, and updated crosstabs that could be embedded into forms and reports, I would pay $400 just for Approach. If fields could contain italicized text, and if Approach could spawn RTEs (run-time executables) or stand-alone executables, it would be fantastic. Then, stuff I have been doodling for 15 years can actually see the light of day, instead of being mere "what-if" personal projects basking in the oooh-ahh of my infatuation with Approach from the 93-ish year.

    I know Alpha 5, Sesame, Omnis, Access, Calc, and even Filemaker exist. But, none of them are as comfortable and straightforward to me as Approach is.

    IBM, how many times must end users wanting more keep begging?


    1. Skoorb

      Re: Lotus Approach, 1-2-3, and Word Pro

      Well, they sort of are being.

      IBM is currently in the process of replacing them with "Apache OpenOffice IBM Edition". As far as I can tell this means that they are lobbing some code and features into the Apache version of LibreOffice... It's been coming since January though and there is still no word on what it will actually look like or how much IBM code will be open-sourced. The code is supposedly in Apache now and will be seen in a real product shortly after OpenOffice 4.0 is released.

      From their FAQ:

      "Q13. When will the Apache OpenOffice the IBM Edition be available?

      A13. IBM does not dictate the release of this code and works within the Apache OpenOffice community. IBM

      expects Apache OpenOffice the IBM Edition to be available shortly after the final Apache OpenOffice 4.0

      release is complete..." See here:

      "Q22. What is going to be different between Lotus Symphony 3.0.1 and Apache OpenOffice the IBM Edition?

      A22. The major differences our users should expect will be in 2 areas. Apache OpenOffice does not run on

      the Lotus Expeditor platform which will change hardware requirements and startup time. Apache OpenOffice

      will also operate more like Microsoft Office in that each application will launch in its own window. There will

      also be slight differences in the look and feel. There will be more functions available as well with the inclusion

      of the Database and Drawing applications. All content created will transition seamlessly.

      The other difference is that Apache OpenOffice will not be able to be embedded in the Lotus Notes

      application. It will only run in standalone mode."

  11. Confuciousmobil


    Lotus 123 was by far the best spreadsheet until IBM bought Lotus.

  12. OtherMyles

    It's alive?

    Notes is still going? That was the very first email app I used (to go with my very first email address - employer supplied). I still shudder at the memory of trying to work the interface and the strange nature of 'delete'.

    Having not used it many years, are later versions better than what went before?

    1. ItsNotMe

      Re: It's alive?

      "... and the strange nature of 'delete'."

      Sort of like Apple's Delete key? Which is actually a Backspace key?

  13. Steady Eddy

    Spent two years supporting versions 4.5, 5 and 6.

    I loved the way you had to get a third party thing called NotesMedic that would allow you to launch Locust Notes after an abnormal session close without rebooting. And the way you'd look up an error message on IBM's KB, and it would say "The Notes team is aware of this issue. June 20, 1997" and that was it.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brand de-emphasis

    I'm pretty sure you're going to start seeing this from a lot of Big Blue's products as they try to put out the story that their software is integrated cross-brand and all part of a coherent strategy. I'll leave the reader to judge how true any of that is, but nevertheless expect to see the likes of Tivoli, Rational etc start to drop or merge their branding too.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    HP OpenMail

    Some will say that it was Microsoft who forced HP to stop the development, maybe it was bad management on HP side, or maybe there was to many sheep following the Exchange trend (which at the time scale horribly), whatever the reason, OpenMail was toasted.

  16. John 90


    Is it still three jelly babies on a Jacob's cracker?

  17. Volker Hett

    Everybody loves tiles now :)

    so let's bring the Notes 4 client back!

  18. NotesDev

    How timely

    Having been developing Lotus Notes, then Lotus Domino apps for 14 years, this is basically too little too late. Sadly too many herberts associate Lotus Notes with a clunky email client that wasn't as 'slick' as other offerings back in the 90's and early 00's. Lotus, then IBM never showcased the really neat bits. Like saving the design change on a live server and having the VB dev sitting next to me ask when I was going to 'recompile it' :-)

    IBM never drove Domino sales into the "less than 50 employees" market, never had a clear purchase path or easy to decipher pricing plan. One of the reasons MS is so ubiquitous is that you can buy their software so easliy.

    As I'm being made redundant soon, my interest in IBM Domino is probably only going to be academic, but the shame is that, whilst it had it's problems, it was pretty adaptable and with the right mindset, very powerful for the money. However MS has always been better at marketing, and that is what wins market share. Changing the name won't make a difference unless IBM back it up with serious $$$ and £££

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm in a minority I know, but I loved it.....

    Notes was brilliant as far as I'm concerned, an unsung hero among dross, you could do pretty much anything with it when you knew how to use/code it, and I was lucky enough that I could and did. The problem with it in general was it was purchased by the high ups and then foisted on the lower ranks without a proper introduction or training, and naturally people then hated it, and didn't utilise it properly. I've been to a number of companies where the ONLY thing they were using Notes for was email, which kinda defeated the point of buying it.

    I once found a Domino server in a server farm I looked after that was running on OS/2 Warp, and had an up time of 734 days when I found it. Admittedly it had never been upgraded, but it had about 200 users who were using it every day almost round the clock and it had never even hiccuped........

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Notes vs. Exchange

    Notes: an excellent distributed database replication engine with a crappy mail client hacked on top. A lean server with a bloated client.

    Exchange: a barely able to work mail server with some workflow features hacked on top. A bloated server with a leaner client.

    Guess who won.

  21. jason 7

    Notes 9.0?

    So can you now cut or copy a couple of lines of an email without it then whizzing to the bottom of the text selecting it all?

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